The most important snake poisons dealt with in Homoeopathic pharmacopoeia are Lachesis, Crotalus, Naja, Elaps and Vipera. These snake poisons are perhaps the deadliest of the animal poisons and produce symptoms of direct poisoning of the nerve centers without local inflammation or blood changes. We are concerned more with the therapeutic action of the drugs prepared with these snake poisons than with their physiological effects and explanations.
All the snake poisons as a group have some characteristics common to all of them and when these symptoms are indicated in a patient, we at once remember one or the other of the serpent poisons is indicated in elimination of the other drugs in the pharmacopoeia. The aggravation of al the troublesome symptoms after sleep, the very marked sensitiveness of the body surface so that even mere touching is unbearable and the relief from the appearance of a discharge and septic states and general disorganization of blood by septic toxaemia or zymotic miasmatic diseases are common indications for all the serpent poisons.
All the snake poisons are also indicated generally in haemorrhages, disturbances of the nervous system and heart complaints. But in these indications, each of them has its own marked sphere. Lachesis acts more on the nervous system, Crotalus has more marked tendency to haemorrhages and has less profound action on the nervous system and greater exhaustion than Lachesis. In Naja the heart symptoms are more predominant and in Elaps there is discharging of dark, black blood. Vipera acts on the venous system.
No remedies are more effective than serpent poisons in helping cases of systemic bacterial poisoning. If, after a surgical operation, symptoms of commencing septicaemia are visible Lachesis or Crotalus should be given at once. In acute tuberculosis or acute exacerbations of other chronic diseases Crotalus and Elaps are to be preferred to Lachesis.
Of all the serpent poisons, Lachesis has the widest range of action and may be treated as one of the polychrests. It is adapted to the complaints of old topers with broken-down constitutions, and women at the climacteric period, and of the anaemic, nervous and sensitive persons with a melancholic disposition.
It acts best on the blood, brain and nerves and its complaints are mostly left-sided and change from left to right. Lachesis symptoms arise as a result of injuries, punctured wounds, poisoned wounds, grief, vexation, fright, jealousy, alcoholic excesses, warm weather, excessive heat of sun, physiological constitutional changes at the climacteric period and suppressed discharges.
Lachesis has peculiar sensations of tearing and constrictions, soreness, rawness, beating, throbbing; and has marked weakness, restlessness and sensitiveness. It is the “enemy of all constrictions”.
It has its own modalities indicating its use. Lachesis patients generally suffer in early morning and from noon to 12 p.m., from warmth of bed, before a thunder storm and from the heat of the sun. All his troubles are < during sleep. The heat of the sun makes him languid, dizzy and produces congestion of head. It is extremely useful to remove the ill effect of summer heat and even sun-stroke in tropical countries like India after Glonoine has controlled the acute symptoms. Similarly, hot drinks and hot rooms aggravate the symptoms.
The patient is quite all right when he is awake and when he becomes sleepy all his sufferings multiply and gradually increase a thousand times and after he awake and when he becomes sleepy all his sufferings multiply and gradually increase a thousand times; and after he awakens his body is full of suffering, physically and mentally. The throat symptoms are aggravated especially in sleep and he feels suffocated and awakens almost choked up. Lachesis is also indicated when there is < from lying on painful side; violent bleeding, abuse of mercury, use of acids and narcotics. Whenever a discharge is suppressed from any organ some severe pain is felt. All the symptoms ameliorate when the discharge appears, while eating and loosening garments and in open air.
The mental symptoms of the Lachesis patient are very distinguishing. He is very active and lively and cannot sleep for a long time owing to a continuous stream of ideas flowing unceasingly. He jumps from one subject to another and is extremely loquacious. “He thinks he is under superhuman control” and has great self-consciousness; self-conceit, envy, hatred, a revengeful spirit and cruel disposition. He has extreme jealousy, suspects his own wife committed sin; he suspects everybody and suspects he will be poisoned and so does not take medicine. He thinks he dies if he goes to sleep. He confuses morning with evening and has no time sense. Low muttering delirium.